What Is Cetrimonium Chloride? What Do You Need To Know About This Hair Care Ingredient. - The Dermatology Review

What Is Cetrimonium Chloride? What Do You Need To Know About This Hair Care Ingredient.

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03.16.21 AD DISCLOSURE

What Is Cetrimonium Chloride?

Cetrimonium Chloride is an ingredient used in hair care and skincare products to reduce static and improve the safety and longevity of products.
Centrimonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt and is the same class of ingredients as cetrimonium bromide and steartrimonium chloride.
Centrimonium chloride is used mainly in hair care products such as shampoos but is also used in some cleansing body products as well.
Centrimonium chloride helps to inhibit static electricity that is built up between the hair strands, causing flyaways and frizz. It also acts as a mild preservative.

Cetrimonium Chloride

the good:Centrimonium chloride is usd to reduce static, helping to improve flyaways and frizz. It is also used to preserve products, allowing them to be used safely for longer.

the not so good:Nothing to report here

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients

Keep an eye on:Keep an eye out for its related ingredients cetrimonium bromide and steartrimonium chloride.

Why Is Centrimonium Chloride Used?

Preservative
Preservatives, despite the bad reputation that has been unfairly bestowed upon them by the beauty industry, are one of the most important parts of the formulation process. Preservatives help to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds that can grow in your product due to use and exposure to the air. This contamination often occurs when you scoop out your product or take off the lid to use it. 

Preservatives, like centrimonium chloride help to reduce the likelihood of contamination. This ensures that your product is safe to use for longer. Without preservatives your product would only be safe to use for a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of product and whether it is a water or oil-base. Definitely not long enough to get through your favorite cream. 

Anti-static
Centrimonium chloride is an anti-statc ingredient which means it reduces flyawys and frizz caused by static electricity. As the hair strands rub against each other or a fabric such as a pillowcase or hat, they cause static electricity. You’re probably familiar with static electricity through science class where your teacher rubbed a balloon against some long-locked student’s hair and made it stand up. This effect is what tends to cause flyaways and frizz. 

Anti-static ingredients, like centrimonium chloride help to reduce this, smoothing the hair and often adding shine. Centrimonium chloride is a positively charged molecule which means it sttratc the slightly negatively charged skin and hair proteins. 

Is Cetrimonium Chloride A Silicone?

Centrimonium is not a silicone ingredient. Despite its use in many products used for curly or frizzy hair it works in a different way to silicones. Silicones coat the hair strand and prevent the buildup of static electricity where centrimonium chloride helps to neutralise static.  

Is Centrimonium Chloride Vegan?

Yes, centrimonium chloride is considered a vegan ingredient. However, it is always best to check that all the other ingredients in your product are also vegan if you are looking for a vegan product. This also includes the company’s animal testing policy as well. 

Is Cetrimonium Chloride Safe?

Centrimonium chloride has been evaluated by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group that is responsible for independently evaluating the safety and efficacy of skincare and cosmetic ingredients. 

The Expert Panel reviewed the available scientific data and concluded that centrimonium chloride is safe for use in rinse off products and leave on products up to 0.25%. 

Rinse off products are products that are designed to be rinsed off shortly after application, think cleansers, soaps etc. Leave on products are products that are designed to be left on for extended periods of time such as moisturizers. These two product types often have different safety recommendations as the time they spend on the skin is so different. This is why centrimonium chloride has different safety recommendations for these product types. 

References:
CIR, 1997, Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Bromide, and Steartrimonium Chloride, International Journal of Toxicology.

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